What is Psychosexual Therapy?
Psychosexual therapy is the process of addressing both sexual and relationship difficulties on either an individual or couple basis. The physical and psychological aspects of the individual or couple are explored using full clinical assessment in order to produce the best possible treatment options.
Some of these problems may be physical, like inability to achieve an erection, premature ejaculation, or vaginismus. Or they may be psychological, like loss of interest in sex, addiction or obsession with sexual stimuli.
What does the intensive therapy involve?
Mary’s flexible approach to therapy enables her to offer assessment and treatment sessions to suit the individual or couple’s needs and time scales. Intensive therapy involves face to face residential therapy if you wish to have a short break away from the distractions of everyday life while you deal with your issues. It involves you or you and your partner booking into a hotel over a set number of days where your difficulties are explored through therapy and you are given some extra support to explore your issues through tasks and exercises. You are able to discover at your own pace in a safe contained environment what are the blocks and problems that may be making your relationship unhappy. Where this takes place and for how long can be negotiated specifically with Mary.
What sort of problems does Mary deal with?
Mary’s flexible approach to therapy enables her to offer assessment and treatment sessions to suit the individual or couple’s needs and time scales.
• Male and female sexual functioning problems
e.g. Inability to get and maintain an erection, loss of desire or arousal and pain issues. Couple relationship breakdown
• Individuals’ relationship difficulties
• Addiction and obsession with sexual stimuli
• Sexual identity or gender issues
Does Mary liase with my GP or Hospital Consultant?
Mary Clegg offers a wide range of treatments, which may include medical examinations and clinical assessment to determine if there are any physical problems that are causing your difficulties; She may need to liase with your GP or Hospital Consultant to arrange for these tests and investigations. This will be explained clearly to you, you will be given a copy of all correspondence if you want it and she may also ask you to take her requests to your GP. All correspondence with your GP will be confidential and she will only give him/her the information deemed necessary for your health and well-being. Neither your GP nor anyone else will be contacted by her without your permission.
What sort of physical issues will be addressed?
Mary works in an integrated way which means that she addresses the physical and emotional aspects of your problems together.
She will assess:
• For men
Erection or Ejaculation Problems
Loss of Sensation, Arousal or Lubrication difficulties
• For Women
Difficulties with Orgasm
Loss of Sensation, Arousal or Lubrication difficulties
I don’t know much about sex and sexual technique. Can Mary help me?
Part of the work of a psychosexual therapist is sexual education. It is a normal routine part of her assessment of you. If Mary feels that you need help and more information in this area she will work with this to support you.
How does Mary work with my emotional issues?
Therapy is regarded by some as needed only by weak people who need a prop to lean on. Mary does not believe that for a moment. Therapy requires courage and a lot of commitment. From the outset it is important to recognise that while anyone may influence you, the only person with the power to change things is you….and you do have that power.
Sensing real connections in our relationships is vital to us as human beings. Being able to experience this in a therapeutic relationship itself can help us to become more confident and genuine in the way we relate to our partners and others in our lives.
Counselling is a process that enables you to talk about your problems or difficulties in your life. Counsellors help you, through talking, to manage your life better by changing the way that you respond to difficulties. Mary will help you explore different ways of dealing with a situation, but the choice of whether you do anything about it is yours.
Some aspects of my life are very private. Will that be respected?
Sometimes there are things we want to say but maybe have difficulty in expressing them or feel that now is not the right time. Mary will encourage you to talk about many aspects of your life, and will support you to express your feelings. But your wish not to discuss a particular issue will be respected.
What will I have to do as a part of therapy?
It is good to be an active partner in the therapeutic process and not a passive recipient. Being as honest as you can during the sessions is very important. The more you participate in the work done together the more likely you are to find therapy helpful. You may need to work on the issues that are discussed in sessions in your own time. Mary will suggest how you may do this and it could be in the form of development of skills at home.
Will therapy be difficult for me?
Don’t be surprised if you find that the sessions are difficult and challenging. You may get in touch with thoughts and feelings you have previously preferred not to acknowledge; guilt, shame, anger, or sadness. It would be unrealistic to guarantee specific outcomes but your goals and expectations will be discussed fully.
Does my partner need to be involved?
There is a great deal of evidence to show that if one partner has a problem and is in a relationship, then it affects the other partner. Sometimes one partner has a sexual problem and this creates a sexual problem for the other partner. Whatever your situation, Mary will encourage you to bring your partner with you. Mary has found that work with both partners gives a better chance of achieving your goals.
What if I am gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender? What help can Mary provide?
Mary understands the different issues that affect gay, lesbian bisexual or transgender people and it makes no difference to therapy whatever your sexual orientation may be.
What help is there for disabled people with relationship or sexual problems?
Mary works with many disabled people and is in touch with organisations that can support and help people with physical disability or learning difficulties.
Does Mary understand Faith issues and can she relate to mine?
Mary has worked with many people of different faiths and cultures. As a qualified professional she is very aware of and works sensitively with the different aspects that a client’s upbringing, levels of modesty, culture and religion have to bear on their initiate relationships and expressions of sexuality.
What if I have a complaint?
Mary Clegg is a fully qualified sex and relationship therapist and belongs to several professional organisations. The British Association of Sex and Relationship Therapy, The British Society for Sexual Medicine and The Royal Society of Medicine. She is a registered as a general member with The British Association of Sex and Relationship Therapy and is subject to their codes of conduct, ethics and complaints procedures. You can find out more about them at BASRT P.O. Box 13686 London SW20 9ZH. Tel: 08457 660326 www.basrt.org.uk
What about confidentiality – what notes will Mary keep and who will see them?
During the process of therapy, you can trust Mary with sensitive and personal information. She takes your privacy very seriously. The sessions are essentially confidential, but in the case of abuse to children, acts of terrorism, personal or professional threats to others or the counsellor, there would be a legal obligation to pass information on to the police or to the Department of Social Services.
Short notes are made after the session to record attendance and the progress of therapy. These are also used anonymously to aid peer consultative support (supervision). Attendance at the sessions implies acceptance of this situation. It is important to discuss any reservations that you may have with Mary.